Runner Bean - Scarlet Empire
This is an early, yet heavy cropper, that is vigorous and quick to emerge from early sowings. You will soon be picking bucketsful of smooth, slender, stringless pods with a gorgeous melt in the mouth flavour.
Start off in 7.5cm pots indoors and plant out in your vegetable plot. Fill pots with good, free-draining, damp, seed compost. Sow seeds 4cm deep in the compost. Place the pots in a propagator or seal inside a polythene bag and keep at around 18-20C until the seeds germinate. This will take about 7-10 days. Don’t exclude light as this helps germination. Before planting, prepare the ground by raking until it is fine and crumbly, removing any large stones. Acclimatise the plants to cooler conditions by putting them outside for a few hours a day for a few weeks. Plant out when all risk of frost has gone, planting against canes spaced 30cm apart and 45cm between each row. This variety can also be sown direct outdoors from May once the soil has warmed up. Sow the seeds 15cm apart, 5cm deep and in rows 45cm apart.